The government’s case was simple: King Valley did not have proper approval to develop around a quarter of its land, and some of the land they used was protected farmland. And anyway, all golf course development in China was supposedly made illegal in 2004.
Look closer, however, and things get murky. There’s corruption, betrayal and pissed off peasant farmers. There are policies from Beijing, and counter-policies in the provinces. And to golf professionals working in China, all that sounds like just another day at the office.
Read the whole story, entitled “The Forbidden Game,” at Slate, and please enjoy the related photo essay below, featuring images from Shanghai-based documentary photographer Ryan Pyle. Just click on one of the thumbnails to get started.